Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican

Every Republican is aware (or should be aware) of the 11th Commandment, laid out by Reagan in1966 while he was running for Governor of the People's Republic of California (sic). The commandment was that no Republican should speak ill of another Republican in campaigns.

So when does negative campaigning begin to creep into the 11th Commandment realm?

Is stating a contenders record and leaving it for the public to decide breaking the 11th? If so, look at Fred Thompson's CNN/YouTube ad and response during the CNN/YouTube debate (his was the only negative attack ad)

Is out-of-context quoting furthering the creep towards the 11th?

Or does negative campaign ad creation fit the mold?

The answer, as I see it, is that every candidate should be able to face their previous statements and stances. If they ran on an issue, or it is something that they fundamentally believe, then it is appropriate to discuss... because you KNOW the Democrats are going to use it!

I think that the Romney campaign was close during the spats against Rudy... and now the spats against Huckabee... Though negative, I am not willing to say that the 11th has been broken. Fred Thompson has also been negative in his campaigning, but has not yet broken the 11th... But what I would warn both campaigns against is maintaining the negative... it is beneath them both.

Though I understand the importance of drawing differences between each candidate, and that is the only way they are going to get the nomination, negativity is a turn off to the voters. There has to be a better way... like highlighting your strengths, rather than highlighting your contenders perceived weaknesses.

So who would I say is guilty of breaking the 11th? Though he is not in the campaign, I would say that Hugh Hewitt has done so... he is such a huge Romney supporter that Romney doesn't have to say ill things about his contenders... Hugh will do it for him.


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